Climate change has been a hot topic over the last decade and methods of raising awareness and strategies to make effective environmental changes are becoming a bit of a challenge — but something fresh, creative and politically charged has been brought to our attention.
Western’s writer-in-residence Penn Kemp is the brain behind the sound opera Luminous Entrance, an Ecco Poetry event which is celebrating its CD/DVD release tomorrow night at Brescia University College.
“National Poetry month in April always has a theme and a few months ago people were asked to send in ideas for the theme and I suggested climate change. I am really a political activist so I really like to use poetry as my vehicle. I stick to that because it is what I am good at,” Kemp says.
Kemp, musician Brenda McMorrow and dancer Ruth Douthwright collaborated for the event to create an interactive show by lifting the poetry off the page through music, sound and movement. The poetry all somehow relates to the environment or climate change.
One of the poems in the event’s script is about earthquakes. Kemp coincidentally reviewed the poem to put in the show one day before the Haiti crisis happened.
“I think the total relevance of the topic and presentation is important to Western students. I think we get frightened by things like Haiti and we get sort of frightened into passivity — art is one way that you can feel proactive and raise money,” Kemp says. “You can feel as if you are doing something to raise awareness. It is in your way.”
Kemp graduated Western with an honours degree in English literature and is successfully achieving her goal of trying to connect herself and the London community to Western. “I loved my experience [here] but I [haven’t] felt a connection with Western and the community since I have been back,” she says.
The sights and sounds of Luminous Entrance are an effort to entice and inspire climate change awareness amongst the Western community.
Luminous Entrance takes place Thursday Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m in the Brescia Auditorium. Tickets will be sold at the door. The cost is $15; Tickets for Circle members, students, seniors and under-employed are $12.